Just Beyond the Very, Very Far North

S. & S./Atheneum. (Very, Very Far North). Oct. 2020. 272p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781534433441.
Gr 1-4– In this sequel to The Very, Very Far North (2019), readers are reunited with Duane the Polar Bear and his cast of vividly imagined friends. Each adventure serves to illustrate a social dynamic, highlighting the many different ways there are to be a friend and how to accommodate another’s needs. A new character, a nameless weasel, tries to introduce discord among the friends by encouraging feelings of jealousy and suspicion. The social lessons sometimes cross over into didacticism, but will certainly be useful for some young readers, and the episodic plot keeps the story moving.
VERDICT Purchase where the first book is popular; for fans of gentle animal stories or those looking for examples of how to navigate interpersonal challenges.

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